Barriers to the safe use of innovative vehicles and motorised mobility devices

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Through this work, we reviewed the Australian Road Rules (ARRs) to identify regulatory barriers preventing safe and legal use of:

  • motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters (of MMDs) 
  • personal mobility devices (PMDs) or innovative vehicles, for example e-scooters.

Our recommendation to include PMDs in the ARRs was endorsed by infrastructure and transport ministers. The model law has been updated and this project has concluded. 
 

Project overview

Through this project we drafted and presented the following items for infrastructure and transport ministers to consider: 

  • a policy paper on amendments to the ARRs to include PMDs for the first time 
  • a policy paper on possible changes to the ARRs for MMDs  
  • amendments to the ARRs to include PMDs.

The policy papers were presented to ministers in November 2020. The policy for PMDs was endorsed, and the policy for MMDs was not endorsed. 

Our proposed amendments to the ARRs to include PMDs were endorsed by ministers on 30 May 2021. These are now reflected in the ARRs. 

The NTC maintains the ARRs. However, they’re a model law and, as such, must be adopted into state and territory road laws to take legal effect.
 

Project separation

Through the NTC’s consultation process for this project in 2019, it was agreed that MMDs and PMDs and their users are inherently different.

To address the key differences associated with MMDs and PMDs, the project was separated and an independent analysis of each was completed.

These analyses were presented in separate papers to allow for a more efficient and effective progression of the policy development and legislative reform process.
 

Changes to Australian Road Rules (ARRs) 

Read the latest version of the Australian Road Rules on the Australian Parliamentary Counsel's Committee website

For the first time, PMDs and innovative vehicles such as e-scooters are now covered by the ARRs. The changes form part of a PMD framework that sets out device and design specifications, such as:

  • number of wheels
  • motor type
  • brakes
  • maximum speed capability 
  • dimensions and mass.

Under the new ARRs, PMDs can be used on shared paths, separated paths and bicycle paths. Maximum speed limits and access on footpaths and local roads (with speed limit of 50 km/h or less) will be subject to the law of the jurisdiction.

This concludes the NTCs regulatory reform aimed at removing barriers to the use of innovative vehicles and motorised mobility devices. Thanks to everyone who participated for their time and contributions.   

Project news articles

The NTC is investigating the barriers in the Australian Road Rules that prevent the safe and legal use of innovative vehicles and motorised mobility devices.

The NTC is seeking feedback on regulatory options that can provide a nationally-consistent approach to the safe and legal use of these devices.

Contact us

Project manager Ron Grasso
Contact email rgrasso@ntc.gov.au